Pre-Columbian, West Mexico, Colima, ca. 300 BCE to 300 CE. A fine pottery puppy from the indigenous of Colima. The dog sits at attention looking forward with an open mouth revealing a full set of chompers, perky ears, and a spout atop his head - the surface all covered in lustrous red slip. This hairless dog's body presents a chubby, distended stomach and a wide, corpulent rear end, probably because such dogs were often fattened up to be eaten at feasts (little does this puppy know this, given his ear-to-ear grin). Size: 13.25" L x 6.5" W x 9.625" H (33.7 cm x 16.5 cm x 24.4 cm)
The Colima Dog is one of the most enduring and famous symbols of pre-Columbian art. They come from the shaft tombs of West Mexico, where dogs were believed to assist the dead in their journey to the underworld. Although these dogs are often portrayed as fattened up for the table, they are also sculpted into a variety of playful positions, suggesting that dogs were also a close human companion in Colima culture the way they are today for us. This particular Colima dog sits at attention, mouth wide open brandishing a toothy grin, and tail curled behind his short back legs, ears perked up and eyes looking up at the viewer. Anyone who loves dogs knows this expression and the piece demonstrates how important the bond between humans and dogs was even 2000 years ago! This close relationship is reflected in the cosmology of pre-Columbian Mexican peoples, where one story tells that the first man survived a great flood because of his friend, a dog, who helped him find both corn to eat and fire. Similar pieces are featured in museums worldwide, including the British Museum.
Provenance: ex-private Florida, USA collection
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